Township of Falls, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Falls Township 1-22-1974 by Ord. No. 1974-2. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 116-1 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
Any person appointed by the Township of Falls whose duty it is to enforce the provisions of this chapter under the supervision of the Board of Supervisors and in cooperation with the Township Police Department.
CURBING OF ANIMALS
When a person owning, keeping, controlling, having possession of, or in charge of any dog or other animal leads the dog or other animal near the curb and away from common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, other public property and/or private property, other than the property of the owner, while defecating and then properly removes and disposes of such waste.
A. 
That an animal is:
[Amended 11-6-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-22; 9-16-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-08]
(1) 
Damaging or destroying property; or
(2) 
Creating a foul or obnoxious odor; or
(3) 
Causing an unsightly condition; or
(4) 
Disturbing the peace and quiet by repeated loud noise; or
(5) 
Barking, whining, howling, or making any noise natural to its species in an excessive, continuous or untimely fashion so as to disturb the peace; or
(6) 
Soiling, defiling, or defecating on any property other than the property of the animal's owner, keeper, or controller without removing such waste.
B. 
A dog running at large on the public streets or highways of the Township or upon the property of any persons other than the owner of such dog or unaccompanied by and not under the control of the owner.
C. 
Any animal which reeks of offensive odors to the extent that the occupants of adjacent premises are deprived of their ability to occupy, use or otherwise enjoy those adjacent premises.
[Added 11-6-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-22]
OWNER
Any person or other entity who
A. 
Has a property right in an animal; or
B. 
Keeps or harbors an animal or has it in his or its care; or
C. 
Permits animals to run on or about premises owned or occupied by him or it
POUND
Any place designated by the Board of Supervisors of Falls Township, whether within or without the corporate limits of such Township, for the detention and impounding of animals which are seized for violation of the provisions of this chapter.
VICIOUS OR DESTRUCTIVE ANIMAL
Any animal:
A. 
Endangering the safety of property; or
B. 
Which has viciously and without cause attacked or bitten a human being when off the premises of the owner or keeper; or
C. 
Which is known to have a propensity to attack or bite people or other animals or which, in fact, has attacked or bitten a person or other animal; or
[Amended 1-26-1989 by Ord. No. 89-3]
D. 
Which is trained to attack persons or other animals. This subsection shall not apply to dogs which have been trained by a reputable guard dog trainer as trained guard dogs to protect the person or property of their owners. All such trained guard dogs must be registered with the Falls Township Animal Control Officer. The Animal Control Officer shall have full discretion to determine whether or not such dog is a trained guard dog within the meaning of this subsection. Any dog trained to attack persons or other animals which the Animal Control Officer does not deem to be a trained guard dog, shall be deemed a "vicious or destructive animal" pursuant to this section of the Falls Code. Owners shall have 10 days from the acquisition of such trained guard dog or the completion of the training of such trained guard dog to register the same with the Falls Township Animal Control Officer.
[Added 1-26-1989 by Ord. No. 89-3]
WILD ANIMAL
Any animal, including birds and reptiles which is not normally or ordinarily domesticated; not normally or ordinarily in this area; livestock, or for work or breeding purposes; or not capable of being kept as a household pet, except that animals commonly considered as farm animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, chickens and horses which are maintained on a farm consisting of not less than 10 acres.
[Added 11-6-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-22]

§ 116-2 Nuisances; vicious or destructive animals.

[Amended 1-26-1989 by Ord. No. 89-3]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for the owner of any animal to allow or permit it to become a nuisance.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for the owner of a vicious or destructive animal to allow it or permit it to endanger the safety of persons or property.

§ 116-3 Restrictions.

[Added 11-6-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-22[1]]
It shall be unlawful for an owner to possess any wild animal unless the owner is a duly licensed zoo professional, breeder or trainer, pet wholesaler or retailer, or licensed veterinarian.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the redesignation of former §§ 116-3 through 116-6 as §§ 116-4 through 116-7, respectively.

§ 116-4 Dog licenses.

It shall be unlawful for any person to own or keep any dog six months old or over unless:
A. 
Such dog shall have been licensed by the Treasurer of Bucks County pursuant to the Dog Law of 1982 (3 P.S. § 460-101 et seq.), its amendments and supplements.
[Amended 12-1-1977 by Ord. No. 77-9; 1-26-1989 by Ord. No. 89-3]
B. 
A valid license issued under said Act shall at all times be attached to a collar worn by any such dog when outside the confines of the property of the owner.
C. 
Should said dog fit into the category of a "trained guard dog" as set forth in the definition of a "vicious or destructive animal" contained in § 116-1 hereinabove, such dog must be registered with the Falls Township Animal Control Officer which shall determine whether or not said dog fits the definition of a "trained guard dog." A special license indicating the trained guard dogs status shall be issued to such dog. It shall be unlawful to keep a dog trained to attack people or other animals unless such dog possesses a trained guard dog license as issued by the Falls Township Police Department.
[Added 1-26-1989 by Ord. No. 89-3]

§ 116-5 Curbing of animals.

[Amended 9-16-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-08]
No person owning, keeping, controlling, having possession of, or in charge of any dog or other animal shall knowingly or negligently permit such dog or other animal to soil, defile, defecate on, or commit any nuisance on any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, bypath, play area, park or any place where people congregate or walk, or on any public property whatsoever, nor on any private property without the permission of the owner of said private property. The restriction in this section shall not apply to that portion of the street lying between the curblines which shall be used to curb such dog or animal under the following conditions:
A. 
The person who so curbs such dog or other animal or whose dog or other animal shall soil, defile, or defecate in a prohibited area shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such dog or other animal from the site in a sanitary manner via some mechanism, container, bag, toweling or other manner of removing animal waste from the area.
B. 
The feces removed from the aforementioned designated areas shall be disposed of by the person owning, keeping, controlling, having possession of, or in charge of any dog or other animal curbed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter in a sanitary manner. It shall be unlawful for any person to dispose of animal feces in the municipal stormwater collection system.

§ 116-6 Vicious animals at large; injuries to persons.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person owning or harboring a vicious or destructive animal, as defined in this chapter, after notice given to him or her by the Animal Control Officer, peace officer or any other duly authorized agent of the Township that the said animal is dangerous to the public, to permit said animal to run at large or to be upon the streets or public places of said Township without being muzzled with a wire or leather muzzle.
B. 
When any human being has been bitten by an animal, it shall be the responsibility of the owner of such animal or the Animal Control Officer, peace officer, or any duly authorized agent, if such owner is unknown, to take such animal to a registered professional veterinarian and order a check made for rabies by said veterinarian.
C. 
Any person who has been bitten by a vicious dog may proceed as provided under Section 501 of the State Dog Law of 1982 (3 P.S. § 460-501).
[Amended 12-1-1977 by Ord. No. 77-9; 1-26-1989 by Ord. No. 89-3]

§ 116-7 Female dogs.

It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of any female dog to permit such dog to go beyond the confines of the premises of such owner or keeper at any time it is in heat unless such female dog is properly on a leash.

§ 116-8 Exceptions.

[Added 11-6-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-22[1]]
The provisions of this chapter does not apply to a guide dog accompanying any blind person or to a dog used to assist any physically handicapped person, or to animals used in any police or fire activities of the Township.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the redesignation of former §§ 116-7 and 116-8 as §§ 116-10 and 116-11, respectively.

§ 116-9 Number of animals.

[Added 11-6-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-22]
No more than four dogs, six cats of licensing age or a combination of such dogs and cats not to exceed six shall be kept, maintained or harbored for any time more than three days in any residential housing unit or on its grounds, or in any industrial or business establishment or on its grounds. This restriction shall not apply to properly licensed kennels, pet stores, pounds, shelters or veterinarians.

§ 116-10 Enforcement.

A. 
It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer, peace officer or any other duly authorized agent of the Township:
(1) 
To seize and detain any animal causing a nuisance or any vicious or destructive animal running at large or otherwise endangering the safety of persons or property; and
(2) 
To have the animal properly kept, fed and maintained at a designated pound.
(3) 
To destroy in a humane fashion, if possible, any vicious or destructive animal running at large in any way endangering the safety of persons or property. Such destruction shall be performed in accordance with Sections 501(a) and 302 of the State Dog Law of 1982 [3 P.S. §§ 459-501(a) and 459-302].
[Added 1-26-1989 by Ord. No. 89-3]
(4) 
Where the vicious or destructive animal is not running at large, to petition the Secretary of Agriculture of Pennsylvania for authority to destroy such dog pursuant to Section 704 of the State Dog Law of 1982 (3 P.S. § 459-704).
[Added 1-26-1989 by Ord. No. 89-3]
B. 
If the owner of a vicious or destructive animal or animals causing a nuisance can be identified by a license issued by the Treasurer of Bucks County or by registration with the Township of Falls, or if in any other manner such animal may be identified as to ownership, immediate notice shall be given to the owner either in person or by certified mail. In the event the animal is not claimed within 10 days after it is placed in the pound, the animal may be sold or destroyed in a humane manner by any authorized agent of the Township. The Township shall retain any proceeds received for the animal up to the amount of the daily charge incurred by the animal plus fines and costs, as provided by this chapter, and pay any excess to the person legally entitled thereto upon his request.
C. 
In the event that any dog seized and detained as aforesaid shall be unlicensed or unregistered or if the owner of any animal cannot be ascertained, the Animal Control Officer, peace officer or any other duly authorized agent of the Township shall retain such animal in a Township-designated pound for a period of 72 hours. Such animal may thereafter be sold or destroyed, the proceeds of any sale to be devoted to the cost of detention, care and maintenance of such animal.
D. 
The owner of any such animal detained under the authority of this chapter may claim such animal after paying for the expenses incurred by reason of the detention of such animal in accordance with the schedule of charges then in effect as established by the Board of Supervisors, in addition to any other fines or penalties provided by this chapter.
E. 
All sums payable on account of the detention of any animals shall be payable to the Township of Falls or to such other person or persons as the Board of Supervisors may designate. The payee of said moneys shall keep an accurate monthly record of all moneys received by him pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and shall transmit the same, together with a monthly report, in a form prescribed by the Township Manager. The Township Manager shall include this report, together with a report of fines levied and collected, as part of his monthly report to the Board of Supervisors.

§ 116-11 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 12-1-1977 by Ord. No. 77-9; 1-26-1989 by Ord. No. 89-3; 9-16-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-08]
A. 
Any person, firm or corporation owning or harboring an animal who shall violate or offend against §§ 116-2A, 116-4, 116-5 and 116-7 of this chapter or who shall fail to comply with any of the provisions of §§ 116-2A, 116-4, 116-5 and 116-7 shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding before any District Justice of Bucks County, be liable for a fine or penalty of up to $100 for the first offense, up to $200 for the second offense, up to $300 for the third offense, and up to $300 for each offense after the third offense, together with the costs of prosecution, or, upon default in payment of the fine and cost not caused by indigence or lack of sufficient assets, shall be subject to imprisonment in the Bucks County Prison for a period not to exceed 30 days. Each day that such violation is continued after notice shall constitute a new and separate offense, punishable by like fine, penalty or imprisonment; and further notices to the offender shall not be necessary in order to constitute such continuance as additional offense or offenses.
B. 
Any person, firm or corporation owning or harboring an animal who shall violate or offend any provisions of §§ 116-2B, 116-6 and 116-10 or who shall fail to comply with any of the provisions of §§ 116-2B, 116-6 and 116-10 of the Falls Code shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding before any District Justice of Bucks County, be liable for a fine or penalty of up to $200 for the first offense, up to $500 for the second offense, up to $1,000 for the third offense, and up to $1,000 for each offense after the third offense, together with the costs of prosecution, or, upon default in payment of the fine and costs not caused by indigence or lack of sufficient assets, shall be subject to imprisonment in the Bucks County Prison for a period not to exceed 30 days. Each day that such violation is continued after notice shall constitute a new and separate offense, punishable by like fine, penalty or imprisonment; and further notices to the offender shall not be necessary in order to constitute such continuance as an additional offense or offenses.
C. 
Such fines shall be collected as like fines are now collected or hereafter authorized to be collected by law. Any person or persons violating any of the provisions of this chapter after issuance of a notice of violation by the Animal Control Officer, peace officer or duly authorized agent of the Board of Supervisors, setting forth the amount of the fine hereinabove provided, may, for first offenses only, within five days at his election, plead guilty to the violation by signing such notice and paying said fine without costs of prosecution at the Township office in lieu of a hearing before a District Justice.